Wet weather could bring a price hike for drinkers

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer, Brewing, Malt

Drinkers could end up paying more for their beer because of the gloomy summer weather.The wet weather has taken its toll on this year's barley crop...

Drinkers could end up paying more for their beer because of the gloomy summer weather.

The wet weather has taken its toll on this year's barley crop from which malt, used to make beer, is taken.

Richard Wheeler, managing director of Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot, Devon, which supplies malt to local brewers, has warned that the bad barley crop could mean a rise in the price of malt.

And brewers will have no alternative but to pass on the increase to drinkers.

Wheeler said: "It appears there will be a price rise as it has not been a good year for growing barley but it is a nationwide problem, which will make things easier.

"At the moment we are not sure what the situation will be, but in another two or three weeks we will have a much clearer picture."

But he added that any rise would be limited.

"What you have to remember is that the production costs of a pint is minimal so the costs to the public would only be a penny on a pint," he said.

Devon farmer Richard Cotton confirmed it has not been a good year for barley and, although the quantity has not been affected, the quality has.

He said most of his crop had been sold for animal feed rather than to the brewing industry.

Guy Sheppard, who jointly owns the Exe Valley Brewery at Silverton, Devon, said: "The increase in ingredients will not be announced until January so if there is a price increase to us, which we may have to pass on, it is unlikely to affect consumers until next spring."

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